For Immediate Release:
28 September 2011
Benazir Suraiya; [email protected]
Bhuvaneshwari Gupta; [email protected]
India Should Be Proud to Be Known as the Birthplace of Vegetarianism, Says Group
Mumbai – Just in time for Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday (2nd October), World Vegetarian Day (1st October) and Vegetarian Awareness Month (October), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent an application to the philately division of the Department of Posts urging the agency to issue a national stamp honouring the country’s strong vegetarian heritage. India has the highest population of vegetarians of any country in the world. In a letter accompanying the application for the proposed postal stamp—which shows three sets of two leaves each and reads “Vegetarian India”, PETA points out that India is considered by many to be the birthplace of vegetarianism and that adopting a vegetarian diet is the best way to protect one’s health, animals and the environment. A copy of the stamp design recommended by PETA is available upon request.
“Vegetarianism is catching on in countries around the world, and Indians should be proud that it all started right here”, says PETA India campaign coordinator and nutritionist Bhuvaneshwari Gupta. “This stamp would remind people every day that they can help stop animal abuse, slow the production of gases that cause climate change and keep themselves fit and trim by simply going vegetarian.”
Studies show that vegetarians have stronger immune systems than meat-eaters do and are far less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer and obesity. People with type 2 diabetes (which is a growing problem in India) have been able to significantly control the disease and lose weight by switching to a vegan diet. Research also shows that, on average, vegetarians and vegans tend to live six to 10 years longer than meat-eaters do.
Chickens on factory farms are crowded by the thousands into dark sheds that reek of ammonia from the accumulated waste in which they are forced to stand. Cows, buffaloes, sheep and goats are often crammed into severely crowded trucks during which many are trampled or gored. When they reach the slaughterhouse, the survivors are often dismembered while they’re still conscious. Fish are killed by way of slow suffocation and are mutilated or crushed.
A 2010 United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary if we are to curb climate change, reduce pollution, stop forest destruction, alleviate world hunger and conserve resources. Among other things, the report states that “animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives”.
PETA’s letter to the Department of Posts and the stamp design submitted by PETA are also available upon request. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.